After a nine-year delay, Berlin Brandenburg is finally set to open next October. The original plan was to open the airport in October of 2011. After the initial delay, it was set to open in June of 2012, but a few weeks before it opened, safety inspectors found issues with fire safety and smoke exhaust systems at the airport. After it failed to open in in 2012, other structural problems, and even corruption, delayed the opening further.
Officials are optimistic, and things appear to be headed in the right direction. In fact, if all goes well, it should debut on October 31. EasyJet is the first airline planning to move their operations to the new site, and other airlines are planning to follow suit in early November.
The plan is to move to the airport in phases. Flights to Berlin-Tegel Airport are set to end on November 8, and airlines will continue to fly in and out of Schoenefeld, though the long-term plan is for Brandenburg to be the only airport in the city.
Even if the airport opens on schedule next year, this doesn't signal the end of construction. With the growth of air travel in Berlin since the airport was designed, authorities already have plans to expand Berlin Brandenburg Airport to meet growing demand. The city has a critical need for the new, larger airport, as tourists and business travelers alike have been visiting the city in droves.
The opening of a larger, more modern airport should come as good news to anyone flying into Berlin. The city's two other airports, Tegel and Schoenefeld, are outdated and have struggled to keep up with the increased demand.
Image source: © Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg GmbH / Günter Wicker